Canterbury's stars are threat to Ipswich

HOCKEY: Ipswich face a tough weekend of hockey against two of the strongest teams in the English Hockey League's Premier Division.They start tomorrow at Canterbury, a side lying fifth who play a very technical game and coach Danny Kerry is sure to have analysed Ipswich's game in order to find any weakness.

HOCKEY

IPSWICH face a tough weekend of hockey against two of the strongest teams in the English Hockey League's Premier Division.

They start tomorrow at Canterbury, a side lying fifth who play a very technical game and coach Danny Kerry is sure to have analysed Ipswich's game in order to find any weakness.

The key to success for Canterbury is to maximize the influence of their international combination of speedy winger Anna Bennett, and defender and short corner striker Mel Clewlow.

Yet Ipswich have strength in depth and the intellectual creativity in the midfield to vary the pace and direction of attack so it will prove difficult for either team to get the initial break.

Coach Sandie Lister, fresh from receiving her honorary Suffolk College degree, realises how important it is that Ipswich can maintain their momentum throughout the weekend. She said: "We have been improving with each match, our decision-making in the D has been spot-on and this has given the team the confidence to keep pushing forward and to press the opposition in defence."

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On Sunday, Slough, currently two points behind Ipswich, are at Tuddenham Road.

The London visitors host a formidable line-up of international players, including former Ipswich player Jane Smith, yet were surprisingly defeated last weekend by Chelmsford.

They tend to play a possession game, trying to tease the opposition into losing discipline and so creating a passing channel that their forwards can then exploit.

Ipswich's strength lies in their team play and their quick counter-attacks. With Jo Ellis, Leisa King and Vicki Sandall playing superbly at the moment it will definitely be a battle of the midfield.

AFTER a weekend off for the regional leagues, Ipswich seconds are itching to get back into league action as they take on Canterbury seconds.

The squad makes only one change bringing in Ella Kenny for Nicky Keely.

Canterbury are always a difficult side to play against, combining experience with youth but this season after three draws and a loss they are still looking for their first win.

The Ipswich defence need to be aware of the pace of the attacking forwards and goalkeeper Laura Peskett will have to be alert as past experience shows that their attackers will shoot from all angles.

Ipswich will be looking to keep their shape in the midfield and with hardworking Jo Gray and Sarah Allsop up front, the Suffolk team will be looking to take the chances that they create.

This will be a real test for Ipswich and after a fantastic start to the season they must keep concentrating on one match at at time.

Wins for both the firsts and the seconds is a real possibility and would be the perfect start to a tough weekend.

SATURDAY'S HOCKEY FIXTURES

Printwize East Men's Hockey League

Premier A: Chelmsford II v Colchester, Crostyx v Cambridge University, Harleston Magpies v Peterborough II, Ipswich v Cambridge City, Clacton v Broxbourne, West Herts v Bishops Stortford.

Premier B: Havering v Letchworth, Ipswich ES v Pelicans, Norwich City v Long Sutton, Wisbech Town v Bedford Town, Brentwood v Bourne, Dereham v Ipswich II.

Division Two North: Peterborough Town III v Ipswich ES II, Peterborough Ath v Spalding, Felixstowe v Norwich Union, Broadland v University of East Anglia, Bourne II v St Neots, Cambridge City II v Sudbury.

Division Four South East: Harlow v Ipswich ES III, Wapping v Crane, Thurrock v Witham II, Sudbury II v Ipswich III, Brentwood III v Upminster II, Ipswich IIII v Saffron Walden.

Printwize East Women's League

Premier Division: Sevenoaks v Bury St Edmunds, Dereham v Cambridge Univ, Letchworth v Folkestone, Cambridge City v Chelmsford II, Anchorians v Gravesend, Canterbury II v Ipswich II.

Division Two North: St Ives II v Norwich City, Ipswich III v Lincoln, Ipswich ES v Alford, UEA v Bourne, Pelicans v Wisbech, Long Sutton v Old Buckenham.

EHL Women's Premier Division

Canterbury v Ipswich, Chelmsford v Trojans, Fyffes Leicester v Clifton, Slough v Hightown, Sutton Coldfield v Olton & West Warwickshire.

SUNDAY

Ipswich v Slough.

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